Arriving at our destination, we were immediately struck with the beauty of the facility. It was on the coastline, set high above the water, with cobblestone streets leading to the cabanas where the guests and the staff were housed. We were shown to a very nice mobile home/cum apartment, which was to be our home for the duration Shortly after bringing our bags in and looking around our quarters for a few minutes, Fern came to escort us to the courtyard which was filled with guests.
They were awaiting our arrival; she had obviously convinced these people that we were their lifesavers! They had a lot of questions for us – about their programs, how they were progressing, what to do when they went home, etc.,etc. Oh, my goodness! Where and how to begin?
First of all, it was obvious that no one had been supplying them with counseling except on a very cursory basis.Some of them were nearly ready to go home and were understandably anxious. Typically, Dr. Reams was not there often enough to spend time with them; he left that in the hands of LaVerne and Betty, his daughters. So far they had not set up any kind of a schedule for meeting with the guests individually as we had done in Roanoke.Shades of Blue Ridge! We remembered only too well how chaotic it had been when we arrived there, and we wanted very much to reassure these guests that we did care about what was happening to them and make every effort to make the retreat experience a pleasant and helpful one.
We assured all of them that we would set up a session with each one of them and start with those who were closest to finishing the program, but we needed to get to an office and look at their records in order to give them any comprehensive counseling. Sounds like a plan…right? There were about 50 people in various stages of the program, so our first job was to get their records….hopefully, someone had been keeping the test results and hopefully, Doc had made some analysis of their situation. One couple was ready to depart that day, so we accompanied them to their room after picking up their records. We talked to them as LaVerne was getting their baggage out to the car. We went over the program they had been given and assured them that we would send a comprehensive report on what they had accomplished with the retreat. We also had put together a booklet with spaces for recommendations which we said we would send to them in a few days. Someone had made sure they had enough supplements. A problem was that they were not sure when and how to take them. Again, we assured them that the booklet would have detailed information for them, and, if they were unsure of how to proceed, they were to call us. (Of course, this was long before E-mail and cell phones) Can you remember a time without either?
As our introduction was completed, we went around to each of the guest rooms to say “hello” and then went to meet with the staff. It consisted of 2 lab techs, an RN, (Mexican) and a young intern who was there to help with any medical emergencies. Dr. Rodriguez was expected in a few days. Everyone seemed glad to see us. My only thought on this was that Fern had really sold them a bill of goods about us, bless her heart! On the other hand, it really solidified our feeling that Dr. Reams really did need us and that our experiences from Blue Ridge, Roanoke and yes, even Tecate’ would prove invaluable in putting a good retreat program in place.
The following day was Betty’s 68th birthday. We awakened to a terrible storm which was close to hurricane proportions. Wonderful! Going down to the dining room, those guests that were not on a fast were pretty anxious so we started our day reassuring them that all would be well, supplying them with ponchos or whatever we could find for them to get back to their cabanas. What next? Well, the electricity went out by afternoon, our water supply was running low, and the toll road above the retreat was washed out by a landslide! Luckily, the free road was still open at that point and we were able to get distilled water delivered from Rosarito, just a few miles north of the retreat. Still we had no water for bathing purposes or flushing toilets. Our Mexican helpers were very ingenious, however. They brought up buckets of water from a stream a short way from the retreat and did take care of that problem for the guests.
Our cooks made meals on gas stoves and we survived the first day. After the storm abated, we found out that we were completely shut off….the roads in both directions, north and south, were washed out or blocked by the landslides. A helicopter was flying up and down the coast, ready to evacuate people that might have been stranded. Fortunately, no one was in dire need and we did not have to avail ourselves of that. We were able to take care of everyone, testing them twice a day, going to their rooms and either counseling or visiting them to see if they were comfortable. It made for some very long days!
Finally, we got word that the toll road was open, so we decided that I should be the one to drive to Tijuana and get across the border to San Diego to Dr. Reams, if he was back from his travels or get Fern down to Plaza to give us a hand dealing with all of this. That trip was a heart-stopping experience….the road was barely passable…..dodging around rocks and mud in the roadway, passing groups of men who were clearing the roadway by hand, shoveling the mud off the road and trying to move the rocks out of at least one lane.
I literally prayed my way up to Tijuana….and I vowed I would never complain about American highways again…but I may have gone back on my word on that one over the years. When I got off the toll road, I was told that it really was not open to traffic yet…..no wonder I didn’t meet any other cars and I got some very strange looks from all those laborers on the highway! After arriving in San Diego, I found that Dr. Reams would not be back for a couple of days, so I recruited Fern to help us. We stocked the cars with supplies and headed back to Plaza, not on the toll road but on the free road. My heart ached for the peasants in the tiny villages that we passed on the way back…they had been flooded out of their homes and were trying to salvage what they could. There is so much more to this part of the story, but I will leave that to another time.
Needless to say, Betty was very relieved and happy to see both of us back at Plaza. It was amazing how well she had kept everything on an even keel. The lights were back on, thanks so some generators, so we were able to cook and serve meals.
With the electricity on, our water pumps were working as well. The sun was shining and it was as if the storm was a bad dream. We began putting the program in order and getting people on the path to wellness, which was the original intent of the Reams program. We began to have fun also. We would meet in the evenings and share our stories and have singalongs.
Finally, Dr. Reams was back with us, and he began assessing the guests’ progress. When he visited them in their cabanas, I usually went with him to take notes. Probably that was the best training I got in seeing how the numbers changed and hearing Doc explain what he was seeing in the sclera readings and how it all came together. One of Dr. Reams’ favorite statements was, “Give me a set of numbers (urine/saliva), eye readings (sclera), age, height, weight and sex of any individual, and it is like opening up the body and reading it like a book.” That is one thing I still hold on to even after all this time. I cannot do as well as Dr. Reams did, but I can pretty well analyze what is going on in that body without ever seeing the person.
A few weeks later, we were told that a new guest was coming in who was critically ill, accompanied by his wife and a very close male friend. We had expected them to arrive early in the afternoon, but they did not arrive until late at night. Betty and I had left notes in their rooms that we would see them in the morning. Upon arriving in the dining room early in the morning, we were greeted by 3 people who were to have a profound impact on our lives, Ron and Nancy Polder and Larry Kerr. They had flown down to San Diego from Michigan in a chartered plane, starting out in a snowstorm out of Detroit airport. They were met at the airport by a young Mexican in a nice van; he spoke very little English and they spoke no Spanish; Larry wondered at the time if they were going to be kidnapped; he had heard a lot of stories about things that happened to Americans who went down to Mexico. He was much relieved when they arrived at Plaza and were shown to 2 adjoining rooms.
What a story they had to tell us. First, they explained the reason for their trip to Plaza. Ron had been diagnosed with acute granulocytic leukemia…he was not expected to survive more than a couple of weeks. The doctors in the Detroit hospital had told him that he had to have radiation and chemotherapy treatments immediately. When Nancy had called her sister about Ron, her sister, who had been at Roanoke with her own husband, advised her to find Dr. Reams and get Ron to him wherever he was. That began a search that took several days; they finally discovered Dr. Rodriguez in Mexico who was working with us at Plaza. He told them to get on a plane and get Ron down to us at once.
The doctors at the hospital in Detroit did not take this very well at all. They said that his wife was signing a death warrant for Ron and he would be dead in a few days. (May I digress for a moment…a few days ago, there was a story on TV regarding a parent who took her son away from a hospital where they were going to administer chemotherapy. It was the same harassment that Ron went through over 20 years ago. Some things never change.) I do concede, however, that the treatment of leukemia today has improved a person’s chances considerably. There was practically no hope of survival in the late seventies and early eighties, and there were many horror stories of children actually taken away from their parents and forced to undergo chemo or radiation over parental objections. I am not talking about religious objections, such as Christian Science or Scientology. I am speaking of those who wished to go the way of alternative therapies, such as Dr. Reams’ program, or Dr. Contreras in Mexico and others who saw the damage being done by the introduction of chemicals for the cure of disease.
Anyway, Ron, Nancy and Larry met us in the dining room at Plaza and were so thankful that they had found the Reams program. They asked for Betty and Elinor and when we presented ourselves to them, they told us their story, about leaving Detroit in a blinding snowstorm, flying south to San Diego and praying that they would be able to get Ron over the border and down to Plaza Santa Maria. Their prayers were answered
Fortunately, Dr. Reams was due to arrive the same day they did, and he met with them and set up Ron’s program. One change that he instituted with Ron was that he did not put Ron on lemon water. After reading his test results and eye readings, he said Ron was too weak to do the lemon water, it would detoxify him too rapidly. He put him on carrot juice instead. I had seen Dr. Reams put a person on lime juice once, another was put on cabbage juice but I had never seen carrot juice used as a detoxifier.
40 ounces of carrot juice and 40 ounces of distilled water daily made a big change in Ron. For one thing, his skin turned orange….Dr. Reams assured him that it was okay; it was just all the carotene coming out of his system. Another amazing result of detoxification was that Ron’s eyes changed color….no, not to orange! Ron had always had bright green eyes; they turned to a gorgeous shade of blue! Doc said that he was truly blue-eyed, but that toxicity had made them green from childhood. All I can say is that his eyes were blue from that day on.
We had blood tests done on several of our patients weekly. Dr. Reams sent our blood work over the border to San Diego to a lab that he had worked with a great deal. When Ron’s first blood work was done, the technician brought the results down to us. She was in a great state of anxiety. “Do you know what you are dealing with?This man has terminal leukemia,” she stated to Doc. He assured her that he knew what the diagnosis was. She went away shaking her head, thinking that this was a lost cause. Ron continued to have blood tests every few days; by the time he had finished the fasting portion of the program, we could see a real change in his energy level; he began to walk around the retreat area and attend some of the programs in the evening; previously, he had been totally exhausted and could not be up for any length of time. His blood work began to improve, as well.
Ron and Nancy were with us for five weeks. On the last week of their stay, Dr. Reams had sent his blood work up to San Diego as he had done regularly. This time the technician came down with the report she was totally amazed. She told us that if she did not know better, she would not believe that sample had come from the same man she had been testing for five weeks. In fact, she began to distrust her own results and had called in several other labs to verify her findings. They confirmed her work and said that Ron had no sign of leukemia….this was absolutely unheard of with Ron’s type of leukemia, but it was true. His blood counts were totally free of cancer.The blood work proved that he was not just in ‘remission’; the cancer was gone from his body, cleansed by the fasting, the distilled water and the balancing of his metabolic systems.
However, his immune system was seriously depressed. He had no ability to fight any other invasions. That was why Dr. Reams insisted that when he went home, he had to make arrangements with a private lab for regular blood transfusions to keep building up his antibodies (the disease fighters in our blood.)
Meanwhile, Larry Kerr had become very interested in the Reams theory. He had submitted to being tested, and when Dr. Reams told him he was a candidate for a major heart attack, Larry was dumbstruck. He had just had a 3-day physical in Detroit as a condition of his employment. He was a sales manager for the same business that Ron Polder was in. The doctors had passed him with flying colors; supposedly, he was in perfect health, but Dr. Reams saw high sugars, high salts and high ureas, plus a line in the sclera of his eyes that indicated great stress on his heart. He became a true believer in the program and has remained a client of mine, along with his wife and children, to this day…..nearly 30 years later! It has been one of the great blessings of my life to be a part of the Kerr’s extended family. When Betty was with us, we spent many, many happy days with them in Michigan and then Ohio.
The Polders were excited about going home and telling everyone about the miracle that had happened in Mexico.Ron continued to improve at home for several months then disaster struck. They had had to go to a doctor to get permission for the transfusions and the continued lab work. Somehow, he contracted a very serious staph infection and, with such low resistance, it devastated his already weakened immune system. Returning home after this, he never seemed to regain his strength. This story does not have a happy ending, unfortunately. Ron Polder died in August of 1980. The one thing we were all very certain of: Ron did not die from leukemia. There was no leukemia in his blood when he left Plaza; he died from the effects of a weakened immune system that opened him up to the staph infection. And where do most very young and elderly patients develop staph infections? In hospitals, that’s where. MERSA has been the most recent hospital-borne staph infection. In fact, my daughter contracted MERSA after surgery less than 2 years ago. She was fortunate to recover from it fairly quickly. One more reason to be on a program that stabilizes the metabolic systems in the body so the immune system can fight the ‘bugs’ that are out there just waiting to attack us….especially in hospitals!
We stayed on at Plaza for a total of 11 months. Hundreds of people came and went in that time, and Betty and I were really getting exhausted. The days were very long, since we were the only full time employees that were trained by Dr. Reams to handle the day by day emergencies that seemed to always happen late at night or very early in the morning! There is not room to tell all the many incidents that occurred during our tenure at Plaza, most of them happening when Doc was off the reservation drumming up new clients for us. We finally decided that we had been away from home and family long enough and gave Fern and Dr. Reams a month’s notice that we were heading back home. They had a pretty hard time finding someone willing to undertake all that was required to run the retreat, but after six weeks they did have a replacement. We took a couple more weeks to get her acclimated to the operation and finally started for home. We decided on the way that we really needed a good vacation; Betty had an aunt that lived in Switzerland who was going to be ninety years old in November of that year. What a wonderful opportunity for us to get away and to celebrate Tante Lena’s birthday. We were busily making plans all the way across the great and wonderful country of ours.
On arriving home, we found that Phyllis Greene had been trying to reach us for some time; she found out we had left Mexico, and she was very anxious for us to consider coming to Scituate, MA where she and her friend, Dorothy Freeman were running Green Pastures Inn, another Reams retreat. Dorothy and her husband, Albert, were anxious to retire to Florida. Do you see where this is leading?
We called Phyllis and told her of our plans to go to Switzerland. That was fine with her, but would we first drive out to Scituate and consider being the administrators there? No rest for the weary, I guess! We did travel toScituate, which is a charming old New England town. Green Pastures Inn was delightful, it could accommodate about 30 guests, and we were truly excited about working with Phyllis, whom we had talked to many times by phone but had never met. Dorothy and Albert had already gone to Florida and a young couple were acting as administrators. It may be the less said about that the better. So after promising Phyllis that we would come back after the first of the year, we came back home and completed our plans to go to Switzerland. We each were taking a granddaughter with us, hers named Heather and mine named Monica…eleven and twelve years old respectively. It was a wonderful trip for all of us and the girls never forgot it. They have grown up now, married, and have children of their own.
After the holidays, we began making arrangements to go to Scituate. It again meant leaving home and family, but at least it was only about six hours away from home and we had already decided we were going to have some time off. We were both getting older and if they wanted us to be able to do a good job, they were going to have to let us have a more normal schedule.
On Feb. 1st we started our new adventure in Scituate in a well-organized retreat, thanks to Phyllis. We had a wonderful medical doctor on hand who was also a homeopathic physician. We had cooks who actually spoke English!
Much more about Scituate in our next chapter.